As reported in E-bulletin #19, Telstra has informed the CWU that it is trialling a new workforce management system to replace Connect.
On Friday 21 October, state branch and national CWU officials attended a briefing on the new system, known as Promise, based on the Click solution. Members may already have some knowledge of Click which is currently used in scheduling, but under the new system all modules will be based on Click.
Telstra says it has a number of objectives in moving to a new system, including simplification of the processes involved in field workforce management and service delivery, reduction of the number of different devices used by CTs and, needless to say, increased productivity.
The shortcomings and inefficiencies of Connect are well known to the CWU and its members. They are among the reasons for the union’s criticisms of performance monitoring and assessment in the field workforce, with individual performance often relying on factors beyond employees’ control.
It remains to be seen, though, to what extent Promise will be able to overcome problems which may be inherent in such systems such as absence of local knowledge, inefficiencies related to the issuing of single rather than batched orders and inadequate/inflexible forward planning.
Time will tell.
The trials will commence in Adelaide and Melbourne at the end of October, with Adelaide using the new system and Melbourne running a parallel “control” trial using the existing one. The trials will involve both Telstra and ISGM technicians. With an eye to the future, they will be focussed on work Telstra is performing under contract to nbn ie the Copper Sub-Loop Agreement (CSLA) under which Telstra provides maintenance services for copper in those areas of the FTTN roll-out which have not yet been declared fully Ready for Service.
The CWU will be involved in monitoring the trials but CWU members involved are also encouraged to contact their state branches.